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    August 1, 1895

    “Who Is Lord of Conscience?” The Present Truth 11, 31, p. 486.

    ATJ

    IN reporting the recent trials of Seventh-day Adventists in Tennessee, under the Sunday statute, the New York American Sentinel says:—PTUK August 1, 1895, page 486.1

    “A noticeable event of the trials was a speech by ex-Congressman Snodgrass in which he declared his belief that the statute was unconstitutional, the opinion of the Supreme Court, notwithstanding. He expressed great sympathy for the Adventists, but advised them strongly that they ought to submit under the circumstances, and obey the law until it could be repealed, as he was very confident it would be by the next legislature. He said that he would remind the Adventists of that scriptural injunction which says, ‘Be subject unto the higher powers,’ for ‘the power that be are ordained of God.’PTUK August 1, 1895, page 486.2

    “The ex-congressman seems to have forgotten, or never to have understood that God has ordained no human power to rule over conscience. Nor did it occur to him that to adopt his view of the scripture in question would be to make conscience entirely a creature of civil law, and would justify the condemnation and execution of every martyr from Stephen to the present time. For, with but few exceptions, all these have died as violators of the civil law. Had nobody ever disobeyed laws that were in conflict with conscience, the Reformation could never have taken place. Luther would never have left the Catholic Church; Wesley would never have preached contrary to the Established Church; and John Bunyan would never have insisted on preaching the gospel contrary to the orders of the civil magistrate.PTUK August 1, 1895, page 486.3

    “The early Baptists and Quakers of New England and the Baptists of Virginia suffered fines, imprisonments, whippings, banishment and death for violation of the civil law. And the degree of religious liberty which we enjoy to-day is due to the fact that they dared to disobey unjust laws; and that they continued to disobey such laws until the things that they suffered brought their fellow-men to recognize the fact that there was such a thing as the rights of conscience. It is a matter of surprise that intelligent men are found to-day who will endeavor to maintain the position that it is a Christian duty to surrender conscience to civil laws.”PTUK August 1, 1895, page 486.4

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